A recent article describes how members of a nonprofit have “…salvaged thousands of items during the decontamination and destruction of the Rocky Flats Plant.” They are searching for a permanent space for the artifacts after years of moving in and out of temporary spaces. There had been a federal grant of $492,000 obtained by former U.S. senator Wayne Allard in 2007 to find a space, but that money is gone.
The directors are paying about $600/month out of pocket for storage rental and other expenses. The items in storage include 400 boxes of photographs, maps and drawings along with thousands of items such as glove boxes and safety and monitoring equipment. Museum president Murph Widdowfield said, “Our goal is to find space for a small display so the Rocky Flats Plant can live on and continue educating people.” Museum historian Ron Heard said, “It’s one of those stories that’s not a happy story—the building of nuclear weapons—but it’s a part of Colorado history.” The vice president, Larry Wilson, “…said the items not only help tell the story of the country’s nuclear legacy, but also the story of Jefferson County.”
Scott Surovchak, Rocky Flats legacy site manager for the Department of Energy, added that “…more than 100,000 workers passed through the site in the course of its roughly 50-year history, allowing a middle-class buildout of Arvada, Broomfield, and Westminster.” He added that the board wants a place to take grandkids and great-grandkids to show them and the general public, “here’s what we did.”
I find it encouraging that Surovchak commented, “The current board is different than the original group, which included a bunch of the ‘anti crowd’.” That’s a welcome change from the time when I volunteered to help inventory what was in many of all those boxes and write papers about the history of the plant.